Dwight Gayle scored a first-half hat-trick as Crystal Palace eased past Walsall and into the third round of the Capital One Cup.

The managerless visitors dominated from the start, with Gayle beating the off-side trap to rifle home the opener.

The 23-year-old drilled home a free-kick before completing a 41-minute treble with another powerful shot.

For Walsall, Ashley Grimes had a second-half goal disallowed for off-side.

Eagles on top

Crystal Palace are unbeaten in their last 14 games against the Saddlers, a run stretching back to 1975.

Such was the clinical finishing of Gayle, who was substituted after 62 minutes, the visitors scored with three of their four shots on target.

It was the striker's pace which broke the deadlock as he scampered through following a quickly-taken free-kick, before his panache saw him step up outside the area and score direct from a set-piece.

His third was predatory as he latched on to Jerome Thomas's pass and fired in an angled 12-yard shot.

Following the match, Palace caretaker manager Keith Millen hinted he would remain in charge for Saturday's trip to Newcastle.

"My mindset is now to move on to Newcastle," he said. "I enjoy being in charge of the players - I enjoy making decisions and they are a good group to work with. They are honest.

"We have not let ourselves down the last couple of games in the Premier League, but we've not performed like we can.

"This performance tonight will give a bit of a gee up to the first team players and they know there's some competition there."

Palace entertain Newcastle in the third round.

Lineup, Bookings (0) & Substitutions (6)

Walsall

  • 01 O'Donnell
  • 22 Kinsella
  • 03 Taylor
  • 26 Clifford (Flanagan - 61' )
  • 05 Holden
  • 06 Downing
  • 24 Grimes
  • 07 Chambers
  • 09 Bradshaw
  • 27 Forde (Benning - 75' )
  • 10 Sawyers (Baxendale - 61' )

Substitutes

  • 04 O'Connor
  • 11 Baxendale
  • 13 MacGillivray
  • 14 Benning
  • 17 Flanagan
  • 18 Morris
  • 20 Bakayoko

Crystal Palace

  • 13 Hennessey
  • 21 Williams
  • 03 Mariappa
  • 08 Guédioura
  • 05 McCarthy
  • 27 Delaney (Hangeland - 45' )
  • 25 Bannan
  • 20 Williams (Garvan - 75' )
  • 17 Murray
  • 16 Gayle (Gray - 62' )
  • 14 Thomas

Substitutes

  • 04 Hangeland
  • 26 Kettings
  • 35 Garvan
  • 36 Boateng
  • 37 Kaikai
  • 38 Gray
  • 42 Puncheon
Ref: Darren Drysdale
Att: 3,987

Match Stats

Shots

9 8

On target

2 4

Corners

6 2

Fouls

5 6

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Walsall 0, Crystal Palace 3.

90:00 +2:09 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Walsall 0, Crystal Palace 3.

87:22

Attempt missed. Andy Taylor (Walsall) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

86:32

Tom Bradshaw (Walsall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

86:32

Foul by Jerome Thomas (Crystal Palace).

81:27

Attempt missed. Adam Chambers (Walsall) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

81:10

Corner, Walsall. Conceded by Patrick McCarthy.

80:50

Attempt blocked. James Baxendale (Walsall) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

77:39

Corner, Walsall. Conceded by Jake Gray.

74:16 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Crystal Palace. Owen Garvan replaces Jonathan Williams.

74:04 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Walsall. Malvind Benning replaces Anthony Forde.

73:21

Attempt saved. Tom Bradshaw (Walsall) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

68:12

Attempt missed. Andy Taylor (Walsall) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

66:09

Corner, Walsall. Conceded by Jake Gray.

61:15 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Crystal Palace. Jake Gray replaces Dwight Gayle.

60:46 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Walsall. Reece Flanagan replaces Billy Clifford.

60:20 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Walsall. James Baxendale replaces Romaine Sawyers.

57:43

Corner, Walsall. Conceded by Patrick McCarthy.

57:29

Attempt blocked. Anthony Forde (Walsall) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

55:37

Attempt missed. Glenn Murray (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

50:01

Ashley Grimes (Walsall) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the centre of the box.

49:28

Liam Kinsella (Walsall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

49:28

Foul by Jerome Thomas (Crystal Palace).

47:28

Attempt saved. Glenn Murray (Crystal Palace) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

47:12

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Dean Holden.

46:15

Foul by Andy Taylor (Walsall).

46:15

Jonathan Williams (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:00

Second Half begins Walsall 0, Crystal Palace 3.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Crystal Palace. Brede Hangeland replaces Damien Delaney.

45:00 +2:03 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Walsall 0, Crystal Palace 3.

44:40

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Dean Holden.

43:01

Attempt missed. Billy Clifford (Walsall) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

40:11 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Walsall 0, Crystal Palace 3. Dwight Gayle (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jerome Thomas.

36:43

Foul by Billy Clifford (Walsall).

36:43

Adrian Mariappa (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick on the left wing.

31:37

Attempt missed. Barry Bannan (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

27:29

Attempt missed. Barry Bannan (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

26:08

Corner, Walsall. Conceded by Adrian Mariappa.

24:24 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Walsall 0, Crystal Palace 2. Dwight Gayle (Crystal Palace) from a free kick with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

23:44

Foul by Adam Chambers (Walsall).

23:44

Dwight Gayle (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

20:12

Corner, Walsall. Conceded by Patrick McCarthy.

19:46

Romaine Sawyers (Walsall) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

19:46

Foul by Adlène Guédioura (Crystal Palace).

19:20

Paul Downing (Walsall) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

19:20

Foul by Dwight Gayle (Crystal Palace).

18:39

Foul by Andy Taylor (Walsall).

18:39

Adlène Guédioura (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick on the left wing.

14:39

Attempt missed. Glenn Murray (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

12:34

Attempt saved. Billy Clifford (Walsall) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

12:02

Billy Clifford (Walsall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

12:02

Foul by Adlène Guédioura (Crystal Palace).

9:38

Delay in match Billy Clifford (Walsall) because of an injury.

6:10 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Walsall 0, Crystal Palace 1. Dwight Gayle (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Adlène Guédioura.

6:05

Hand ball by Adam Chambers (Walsall).

1:33

Foul by Damien Delaney (Crystal Palace).

1:33

Tom Bradshaw (Walsall) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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